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The Biggest Mistakes People Make in DUI Cases

Treating the DUI arrest like a regular traffic ticket.

In California, the offense of DUI (VC23152) is a crime which means if you are convicted you could face actual jail time. The maximum incarceration on a first offense is 6 months (a misdemeanor). A sentence of up to 3 years is possible on a fourth DUI within 10 years (a felony). Regardless of whether the DUI is a misdemeanor or felony, it stays on your criminal record forever if you are convicted.

Deciding to represent yourself instead of hiring an Attorney.

"Do it yourself" or "DIY" DUI representation is a huge mistake, the criminal laws relating to a DUI charge are complex and have many pitfalls. Moreover, the DMV laws concerning your license suspension are a specialized subset of the law, even lawyers who regularly practice criminal law oftentimes do not understand the complexities of the administrative process which controls the DMV hearing. The bottom line is always seek professional help just as you would if you were sick and needed medical help.

Hiring the "cheapest Attorney" in town, or letting a "family friend" handle the case.

Going to the "family friend" or "a guy I know" that promises to do the case on the cheap is by far the most dangerous thing you can do. General Practice Lawyers may know the basics about the process but a successful DUI defense requires intricate knowledge of not only basic legal priciples but also a firm understanding of California Regulations that dictate chemical testing, Scientific Principles, Medical Issues relating to breath and blood testing, DMV law, Up to Date Case Law in the area, among many other things. Any experienced DUI lawyer needs to be paid for the time it takes to fight the charge-put simply if you hire a Cheap Attorney you will get what you pay for!

Not Fighting the DMV license suspension.

Many people get really bad advice regarding the license suspension component of the case. In California, a DMV hearing must be sought within 10 calendar days of the arrest otherwise you cannot save you driving privilege. If you need to drive you cannot ignore this crucial step. Waiting until you go to Court will mean your license is gone. As of 2006, the Court no longer has anything to do with a person's driving privilege. The DMV APS order you were given at the time of your arrest or release (a pink piece of paper) is the thing that will determine whether you will be taking a bus or bicycle to work or driving your own car!

Representing yourself at the DMV Hearing.

The latest statistics reveal that less than one percent of the individuals that elect to defend themselves at the DMV hearing are successful is saving their license. If you choose to go about it alone let me ask you: Do you know what the "official duty presumption" is? Do you know what Evidence Code Section 1280 is? Do you know what Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations is? If your answer to any of these questions is NO then you should not be trying to handle the DMV hearing on your own. The Hearing Officer cannot and will not consider your "need" to drive or how sorry or apologetic you are. They will suspend your license unless they are presented with a legal reason not to, this is where the Lawyer comes in!

Pleading Guilty or No Contest at the arraignment.

Any Attorney who does not prepare a proper defense by investigating the case and seeking exculpatory evidence is not doing his or her job. Although there can be a good reason to plead guilty or nolo contendre at the arraignment date, such as when the District Attorney forgets to file prior convictions in the complaint, most of the time it is a bad idea. In order to mount a successful defense to your DUI it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive investigation. The investigation includes requesting and collecting maintenance and accuracy records of the breath machine or lab records for the blood test. In one particularly noteworthy case, attorney Matthew Ruff represented a client in a third offense DUI. The client took a breath test and it was later discovered, after obtaining and reviewing the records, that the arresting officer had not been certified on the machine he used. As result, the lawyer was able to get a set aside of the DMV license suspension and negotiated a fantastically reduced charge in Court. This result would not have taken place if the client pleaded guilty at the arraignment.

Ignoring Court Date Given to You after your Release.

Do you know what a bench warrant is? Do you know the consequences for a failure to appear, FTA? This speaks for itself.

Letting your friends or "jailhouse lawyers" give you advice.

The danger in listening to advice from non-attorney friends or relying on information related to you by others who have gotten a DUI and handled it on their own, is that everyone's case is different. Your friend who may have been charged with a DUI and went to Court himself and got a "wet reckless" may have had a very different blood alcohol level, or his or her case may have involved unique facts or circumstances. If you care about your future speak to only those who have the expertise. A Lawyer has been trained to render advice and understands the legal system. All other "advice" is based on rumor, speculation and anecdotal evidence that will surely get you convicted and leave you with a permanent ding on your record.

Thinking that the District Attorney is there to help you.

The D.A. is there for one reason only, to get a conviction. If it means pretending to be nice and trying to be your friend so be it, they are with the Government and have only one goal: Clear the case file and move on to the next. Only a Defense Attorney can act as your personal legal advocate and ensure that your interests are placed above his own. The D.A. has no such duty and will tell you this if you ask them. In today's political climate a suspected DUI driver is about as popular as a leper. The last thing any D.A. wants to do is get a reputation of being soft on drunk drivers.

Failing to take steps to prepare and preserve the evidence in the case.

There is a common phrase in the legal community it is: If you are prepared to win, you will! Hire a Attorney who truly believes in this way of thinking!

When you are arrested for DUI you need to choose a qualified California DUI lawyer quickly. A competent and skilled California driving under the influence defense Attorney will be able to properly evaluate your situation and formulate an effective strategy to get you the best result possible. DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff can answer your questions about DUI law and the particular type of case you have been arrested for. The Lawyer has represented clients for all types of DUI cases including Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana and Prescription Drugs. He also practices within the jurisdiction where your case will be heard, this gives him the advantage in knowing the "lay of the land" which is crucial to navigating thru the justice system and ultimately obtaining the best outcome of the DUI case.

If you have questions and need answers call and speak directly to the experienced and successful DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff , you will not be passed off to a paralegal or a legal assistant. The information and the call are completely free 1-877-213-4453.

 

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